Living Well While Dying

Since my beloved mother died on March 26th, I haven't had the psychological energy to write more on this topic, but this video has spurred me to write. Mother had a catrastosphic stroke a month before she died, and another last one the week before she died. My family unanimously agreed that euthanasia, if available, would have been both her choice and our choice after the second stroke. I am still struggling with forgetting how she had to die, in spite of being in palliative care. This subject is becoming increasingly more topical as my generation, the baby boomers, join the very senior ranks, although we enter those ranks from a very privileged position, many of us are well educated and wealthier than our parents, and more fit. Regardless, there are not enough palliative care beds now, never mind when our demographic moves through the system. We need to start asking ourselves some very hard questions, especially around the meaning of dying with dignity, with compassion and kindness.

One last thought, there was one nurse named Julia, a beautiful young woman, who cared for my mother twice, and she was there the last night. Both times when I entered the room when she was with my mother, there was a surreal calmness and peace in my mother, and I thought at the time, she must nurse with love. In hindsight, I realized that she nursed with full presence, a fundamental Buddhist philosophy.

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